Prep/cook time: 23 minutes
Serves 4 / The sauce is delicious in such an unusual way, chances are no one will be able to put their finger on the secret ingredient. Prep tips: Fresh herbs are marvelous, but if you can’t find them, just substitute with ½ teaspoon of dry herb for whichever ones are lacking. (Be sure to use fresh parsley, however.) Serving tip: Serve with asparagus spears, broccolini, or French beans.
4 3- to 4-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
4 teaspoons dried herbes de Provence, or 1 teaspoon each finely chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, lavender, sage, and summer savory
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 ounce dark chocolate chips
1-2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives, for garnish
1. Trim any fat or sinew from chicken. Mix together herbs, parsley, salt, and pepper, and rub chicken with mixture, coating thoroughly. Pour broth into a pan just large enough to fit chicken snugly and bring to a simmer over high heat. Add chicken and any remaining herb mixture. Cover tightly, reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer, and cook until chicken is done, about 5–7 minutes. (If pieces are large, this may take a bit longer, but be careful not to overcook or they will be tough and dry.)
2. While chicken is simmering, in a small pan combine balsamic vinegar and maple syrup; cook over high heat until bubbly and slightly thickened, 2–3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate.
3. Increase heat under chicken to high, remove lid, and add balsamic-chocolate mixture, shaking pan to mix juices. Turn chicken several times to coat well, shaking constantly. When sauce is bubbling, remove from heat. Taste and correct seasoning if needed. Sprinkle with chives and serve at once.
PER SERVING: 194 cal, 15% fat cal, 3g fat, 1g sat fat, 49mg chol, 20g protein, 20g carb, 0g fiber, 214mg sodium